Whether you wear corrective lenses or not, getting an eye exam each year is an essential part of your overall healthcare. This will include a vision check as well as a thorough look at your eye health. Your doctor will dilate your eyes, making it easier to check for signs of vision problems or disease. Here’s what to expect from eye dilation.
What Happens When Your Eyes Are Dilated?
The dilation portion of an exam typically takes place after they have performed a vision check using an eye chart. Your eye doctor will use special eye drops that cause your pupils to open wider than normal. They may use a numbing drop before the dilation drops to prevent any discomfort during the exam. Then you’ll wait for 15 to 20 minutes for the drops to work. If you have light-colored eyes, the drops will work faster.
Once your eyes are fully dilated, lights will seem brighter and your vision may be slightly blurred. Your doctor will keep the lights in the exam room low for your comfort. They’ll then use an otoscope to shine a soft light in your eyes while you look in different directions to allow them to see all parts of the eye. Your doctor is checking for swollen or leaky blood vessels that are a sign of diabetic retinopathy, optic nerve damage that can signal glaucoma, and protein buildup that’s a sign of macular degeneration. They’ll also check for any retinal tears or damage to the cornea.
What to Expect After Your Eye Exam
If you’re planning to drive yourself home from the eye exam, bring sunglasses, especially if it’s a sunny day. Your pupils will be temporarily unable to contract sufficiently to guard against the bright light, making it difficult to see. Your eyes may be especially sensitive to the blue light from a computer screen or smartphone. If you work in an office, consider taking the rest of the day off. Your vision will return to normal in about four to six hours. Rest your eyes as much as possible until the drops wear off to avoid getting a headache.
Eyewear Express in Rhinelander, WI, offers eye care and eyewear for the whole family. For more than 25 years they’ve put patients first, providing a warm, welcoming environment and personalized care, whether you need a routine eye exam or support managing an eye condition. And their in-house labs make it easy to get your corrective lenses prepared quickly. To learn more about their staff and services, check out their website, then call (715) 365-1515 to schedule an appointment.